Fall Garden Cleanup Tips:

  • Don't fall fertilize plants that die back for winter
  • It's ok to fall fertilize evergreens with a slow-release fertilizer like Holly-Tone.  A light top-dressing of compost is always beneficial.
  • Prepare new beds: lay down newspapers 10 sheets thick and cover with mulch.  By the time spring comes, grass & weeds will be gone and you can till everything under.
  • Continue to water evergreens if there is no rain for several weeks
  • Plant spring-blooming bulbs like crocus, daffodils, hyacinths, and tulips, and bare-root German Iris rhizomes.  
  • Try some lesser-known but beautiful flowering bulbs like muscari, allium, frittilaria, chionodoxa, scilla, and camassia.   
  • Plant pansies and violas now for 3 seasons of color.  Whenever temperatures are above freezing for a while, they'll bloom.  When spring comes they will be well-rooted, established plants that will bloom like crazy.
  • You can plant up until the ground freezes, but don't wait that long for tender varities or zone-pushers. Plants will root out well in cooler fall soil.
  • Heel in anything you know you won't get planted before winter.  Dig a hole the same size & depth as the pot and "plant," pot & all.  This will at least protect the roots from freezing temperatures.  If that's not possible, then group pots together, preferably against the house or garage in a spot protected from wind.  Surround/cover them with leaves or evergreen boughs and pray.